Visiting Edinburgh? You need to go here.
When I left London it had been sunny. I arrived in Edinburgh in the middle of a snow storm.
Before it actually turned to snow some of the slushy rain hit me in the eye and I scurried into the “People’s Museum” on The Royal Mile to wait it out, occasionally pausing from the vaguely socialist themed exhibitions on Edinburgh working-class life to peer out of the window, furrow my brows and think “Hm. Was this really a good idea?”
Because the very next day, I had planned to go for a hike in the Pentlands.
Funnily enough, the last time I went to the Pentlands I ended up in a snowstorm. That time, as this time, I’d come up to visit my brother who lives here. I tore out a route from Trail Magazine and we duly set off with nothing more than that and a bus ticket to Carlops. Half way between two peaks the inevitable cloud that always seems to follow me wherever I go turned white and started swirling.
We were covered in the white stuff in seconds. The the torn out page with the map on it (yes I know, not very sensible) started to get soggy and disintegrate.
We had an emergency morale-boosting mars bar and decided we should come down via an escape route path I managed to spot on the map. The snow stopped but turned to rain, and we ended up at the Flotterstone Inn a bit worse for wear, and the map was a crumpled soggy ball that I carefully unfolded and laid on the radiator along with pretty much everything else we could take off without causing embarassment to ourselves and other patrons.
We had plenty of time to eat a meal and learn a new card game whilst we waited for the last bus back to Edinburgh.
Eventually we left the cosy pub and went onto the road. It was pitch black and the suspense as we waited for the last bus was quite tense. Would the bus turn up? Would the bus even see us in the darkness? The relief as we saw the green glow of the bus’s display board looming over the hill towards us was wonderful. Success!
So, the moral of this story is that basically I think I have ‘the curse’. (The curse of bad weather and no views.).
But really, what was I expecting? It was winter after all.
But to be honest I didn’t really mind because it was just good to be out and about.
I had had some leave to use up before the end of March and I wanted to use it doing something different. On a bit of a spur of the moment decision (I do recommend planning ahead but I’m not very good at it), I had two days off work and spent two days in Edinburgh, travelling up on the train on a Thursday during the day and coming back to London on Sunday (again by train). The idea was to do a walk in the Pentlands and get up onto at least one of the main hills there before I have to accept defeat and come back due to poor weather.
And so, the next day finally I got to the beginning, a solitary walker hopping off the bus at Nine Mile Burn to start a walk along the main Pentlands peaks.
It certainly was snowy.
Here’s the video:
It ended up being a great day out. The next day I came back to the Pentlands to do a low level walk with my relatives. Again, we got the bus from the centre of Edinburgh to the suburb Bonaly and from there walked via various reservoirs to Flotterstone again.
So, if you’re visiting Edinburgh – why not fit in a hike in the Pentlands?
(p.s. If you fancy hiking here, the full details of the Pentlands walks are in the Escape London Adventure Pack!)
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